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Pupils’ Experiences of and Involvement in School Curriculum Reforms

Cardiff School of Social Sciences

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Dr P Hemming , Dr K Smith No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Cardiff University School of Social Sciences invites applications for PhD study with the possibility of being awarded a fully-funded ESRC DTP Studentship, available to start in October 2020, which is available in the area of Education.

Welsh Government is currently rolling out a new school curriculum. Whilst curriculum reforms such as this have previously been researched through the lens of curriculum studies, policy enactment, change management and school improvement, there has been much less focus on pupils’ own knowledge and experiences, and their involvement in implementation. Such a focus is consistent with the influence of the ‘new’ social studies of childhood, as well as the promotion of children’s rights. The proposed project aims to further enrich the research literatures on curriculum reform through the inclusion of children’s voices.

1) What knowledge do primary school pupils possess about the curriculum reforms in Wales and what is their understanding of its different aspects?
2) What changes and continuities have primary school pupils encountered in their everyday experiences of learning in the classroom and school life in general as a result of the reforms?
3) To what extent have primary school pupils been consulted and/or involved in the implementation of the new curriculum in practice and what form has this taken?

In-depth ethnographic research with Year 5/6 classes, located in 4 different schools. Possible methods include:
• Pupil focus groups
• Participatory child-centred workshops
• Scrapbook diaries
• Teacher interviews

Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Masters’ degree. We welcome applications for both full and part-time study, and studentships are available as either ’1+3’ (i.e. one full year of research training Masters followed by three years full-time Doctoral study, or the part-time equivalent), or ’+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study or its part-time equivalent), depending on the needs of the applicant. Further details on types of awards

These studentships are ‘collaborative’ awards. Applicants should take careful consideration of the working title and description of the project and may wish to contact the named member of staff for a discussion prior to applying.

1+3 OR +3?
Further details on types of awards

The closing deadline for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday 3 February 2020. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place between Monday 24 February – Monday 2 March 2020. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to a Panel convened by the ESRC Wales DTP Management Group at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. In most cases successful applicants can expect to hear by early April 2020.

Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Social Sciences with a start date of October 2020 by 12 noon on 3 February 2020. In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select “I will be applying for a scholarship/grant” and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from “ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership”. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.

1. Covering letter: Set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University and the pathway; your understanding and expectations of doctoral study; your academic interests generally, and particularly of those relating to your proposed research. The letter should be no more than two pages.

2. Academic / Professional Qualifications Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).

3. Two academic references. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include references with their application.

4. A CV

5. Research Proposal. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following headings in your proposal:

• Title, aims and purpose of the research;
• Brief overview of the academic literature relevant to your field;
• Proposed design/methods;
• Academic contributions of your research;
• Indicative bibliographic references.

Mae’r rhaglen hon ar gael drwy gyfrwng y Saesneg yn unig. I wneud cais am wybodaeth yn Gymraeg, cysylltwch â’r Tîm Recriwtio Ôl-raddedigion ([Email Address Removed]).

This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team ([Email Address Removed]).

Funding Notes

Studentship Awards commence in October 2020 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,009 p.a. for 2019/20 for full-time students, updated each year); and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), though an element of this latter fund may be ‘pooled’ and require separate applications from 2020 onwards. There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants.
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